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Seeing Green

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Seeing Green


Published 1937


Inside the electrochemical "brain" of the traffic light.


Run time 9:04
Producer Handy (Jam) Organization
Sponsor Chevrolet Division, General Motors Corporation
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W/C

Shotlist

A LOOK AT THE "BRAIN" OF THE TRAFFIC LIGHT SHOWS HOW THE RED & GREEN & AMBER LIGHTS PROMOTE SAFETY. GOOD ANIMATION OF SERIES OF LIGHTS AND LINES OF CARS. GOOD SHOTS VARIOUS KINDS OF TRAFFIC LIGHTS. BRIEF MONTAGE OF FOREIGN CITIES.

Ken Smith sez: "Speed with safety is the tempo of all modern transportation," proclaims the narrator of this film. In order to ensure our safety in this fast-paced, modern world we need "devices" designed by "experts." Many of those devices can -- coincidentally -- be found in your new Chevrolet. Yet another is "the automatic traffic signal," which "puts you level with the world and keeps you even with safety regardless of what car you drive." If you ever wanted to know how a traffic light works, this is the film for you.
Incredibly overstylized wipes dominate this film; the boys in post-production must've gotten in a new optical step printer and were having fun. The last few minutes of the film are devoted to a Technicolor, animated "city streets" model, obviously thrown in to showcase Jam Handy's stop-motion capabilities and to show off his access to Technicolor.

21:20:30:00 - 21:20:47:00
VS of LS aircraft landing strip at night, airport tower light signaling; descending airplane enters frame; LS landing strip as seen from inside plane
21:20:48:00 - 21:20:51:00
MLS ship moving through water at night; illuminated lighthouse on cliff
21:20:01:00 - 21:21:00:00
Train moving along tracks toward industrialized area
21:21:01:00 - 21:21:04:00
MS large, white administrative building
21:21:05:00 - 21:22:38:00
VS traffic police directing traffic superimposed over VS city streets, buildings and pedestrians; VS cars and people moving along busy city streets
21:22:38:00 - 21:23:43:00
VS of CU different types of traffic signals (from semaphores to 4 color signals). Many of these traffic signals represent landmark inventions in the history of mechanical and electrical traffic controls
21:23:44:00 - 21:24:21:00
VS cars at street intersection
21:24:22:00 - 21:27:05:00
CU traffic signal light, pan down to control box; box cover fades to reveal controls inside; VS parts of signal control box demonstrating how signals work; CU sides of traffic signals as they change signs (background quickly pans back and forth from trees to cloudy sky); CU traffic light checksheet reading "Intersection Main Street and First"; MS cars driving along busy street; CU another checksheet reading "Broadway"
21:27:06:00 - 21:29:12:00
CU map; VS large animated model demonstrating how traffic signals work at busy intersections; VS model demonstrating timing for groups of signals; CU model of traffic signal changing signs. This last sequence, in Technicolor uses stop-motion animation with little model automobiles and traffic lights.


CHEVROLET MOTOR COMPANY ADVERTISING AUTOMOBILES TRANSPORTATION TRAFFIC LIGHTS SIGNALS CONTROLS MACHINERY ANIMATION COLOR TECHNICOLOR MODELS FANTASY STREETS HIGHWAYS ROADS TRAFFIC DRIVING DRIVERS RUNNING SHOTS ANIMATION MODELSM POLICE DIRECTING TRAFFIC STOP SIGNS SURREALISM STRANGENESS
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Reviews

Reviewer: JayKay49 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 17, 2012
Subject: Nut Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree
Shots of Detroit including Grand Blvd near where Jam Handy was located. Also a shot of Hudsons Department Store downtown.

Nice to see how the traffic light mechanism works.

Reviewer: jafran - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 15, 2006
Subject: Seeing Green is an interesting 1937 film
Interesting for 1937. I enjoyed seeing the different types of traffic lights before standardaization. Also enjoyed seeing all those now vintage cars and trolleys. The color added on to the last portion was a nice touch. The narrator seemed to scream into the mic. Maybe that was to keep the viewers alert.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavorite - August 28, 2004
Subject: Yes I am, thank you very much!
This Jem Handy short is narrated by that guy with that annoying elite accent, (you know the one) telling us the many marvels of traffic lights and traffic cops. We get to see how a traffic light works, which is sort of interesting. When we wonder how a film about traffic light colors can be presented in black and white, the film then does a Wizard of Oz thing by going technicolor and showing us traffic (well slot cars) in action with the traffic lights leading the way. Somewhat less exciting then it sounds.
Reviewer: JimT - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 16, 2003
Subject: The cutting edge of transportation technology
The most interesting part of this film is the showing of a variety of different types of traffic signals that were in use before standardization (alluded to in the film) gave us the current protocol.
Also notable are the admonitions against running the amber and the advice that driving within the speed limit makes life easier.
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